An asymmetric membrane (AM) tablet was developed for a soluble model compound to study the in vitro drug release mechanisms in challenge conditions, including osmotic gradients, concentration gradients, and under potential coating failure modes. Porous, semipermable membrane integrity may be compromised by a high fat meal or by the presence of a defect in the coating that could cause a safety concern about dose-dumping. Drug release from the AM system studied was determined to be robust to varying and extreme challenge conditions. The conditions investigated included varying pH, agitation rate, media osmotic pressure, media saturated with drug to eliminate the concentration gradient, simulated high fat meal, and intentionally placed film coating defects. Osmotic and diffusional shut off experiments suggest that the mechanism governing drug release is a combination of osmotic and diffusional at approximately 90-95% and 10-5%, respectively. In addition, the coating failure mode studies revealed this formulation and design is not significantly affected by a high fat meal or by an intentionally placed defect in the film coating, and more specifically, did not result in a burst of drug release.
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